Evil (Ondskan)
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Erik is a 16-year-old boy whose life has been plagued by violence. Tormented by his abusive stepfather, he has hit back in the only way he knows -- by giving a good thrashing to anyone in his way. When he is expelled from public school, Erik is told he has one last chance to make something of himself and is sent to a prestigious private school. This time, he is determined not to mess up. Initially, Erik is overjoyed to escape his unhappy home, but he soon discovers he has merely substituted one prison for another. The school is run by a rigorous and unjust code, enforced by senior students… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Extremely watchable, even if it never goes as deep as it should."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Wilson, who plays Erik, had never been in a film before Evil -- which was nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar in 2004 -- and there's no reason that he can't make many more of them."
‑ John McMurtrie, San Francisco Chronicle
"A powerful tale of boarding school repression based on a novel written by a Swede very much in the Stieg Larsson mold."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Add the mystique of a foreign language, and suddenly the U.S. considers it an art film."
‑ Jesse Hassenger, Filmcritic.com
"Its stuffy, private-school scenes nearly turn the whole thing into The Dead Pugilist's Society, but this Swedish import does have its chilling moments."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Hafström's dramatic sense is ... pedestrian and snail's-pace obvious."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"A commentary on the troubling gray area between acceptable and unacceptable forms of violence, especially where the molding of boys into 'real men' is concerned."
‑ Tim Grierson, L.A. Weekly
"On the surface it seems very familiar ... and not altogether inaccessible to American audiences, but it also has the depth and substance we expect from our imports."
‑ Christopher Campbell, Cinematical
"The narrative has the same familiarity as the setting as Erik has to fight forces bigger than himself, giving the audience a story that justifies (and, not so secretly, revels in) its violence. Call it Fight Club at a boarding school."
‑ Boyd van Hoeij, european-films.net
"Director Mikael Håfstrom exudes no subtlety and lets the blood flow, at odds with the nonviolent moral message this Oscar-nominated film aims to deliver."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Movies like Evil entertain us by serving sweet revenge on a platter, and director Mikael Håfström manipulates emotions more intelligently than most."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"The way it plays out, Evil feeds the audience's bloodlust as much as it decries the worst acts of its characters."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Powerful film where the transformation is painful to watch, but leaves you feeling hope. It took me by surprise at several turns and stayed with me long after the final credits rolled."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"The second half of 'Evil' takes this genre into new and challenging territory."
‑ Les Wright, culturevulture.net
"Solid enough, its main flaw is a sense of restraint -- it never quite ventures into the surreal darkness of the obviously comparable If..."
‑ , Empire Magazine
More reviews for Evil (Ondskan) on Rotten Tomatoes